The United States women's national team has done some great things throughout the course of their history, and pretending like that isn't the case is just unbelievably short-sighted.
However, pretending like there aren't a few question marks surrounding the team is equally as bizarre. Yes, they are at the top of the world but there is controversy also worth mentioning from the past and present.
Today, we're going to take a look at some of the facts that we all know to be true. These might be facts the team doesn't want us to know.
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20 Gender Debate Has Hampered Them
The fact that this squad is battling for equal pay is an honorable thing and that shouldn’t be put to one side. However, acting like it hasn’t drawn attention away from what they’re actually doing on the pitch is just silly.
Their momentum, as world champions, doesn’t seem to have sustained itself.
19 Jill Ellis Suffered UK Stereotypes
Despite growing up in England, a nation well known for its love of all things football (soccer), former USWNT head coach Jill Ellis didn’t actually play the sport in her youth. The reason was, as you can probably expect because it was considered to be an unladylike form of sporting entertainment back in the 1970s.
18 Many Fans Still Value USMNT’s Accomplishments More
At this moment in time, the United States men’s national team is in a pretty bad spot with their failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup still serving as a big stain on their credibility as a squad. With that being said, it’s a fact that many fans still believe their performances in the 2014 and 2010 editions of the competition are still worth more than the USWNT’s accomplishments.
17 Their Leading Record Holders Are Questionable
Abby Wambach is the USWNT’s all-time top goalscorer with an absolutely insane 184 goals. Kristine Lilly, on the other hand, has 354 caps – far and away the most by a country mile.
These figures are pretty accurate, but it makes you question the level of competitiveness that came with a lot of these games. Plus, it also calls their club football into question, too.
16 They Got Lucky Against England
The United States’ win over England in the semi-finals of the 2019 Women’s World Cup was positioned as a big triumph when in reality, it was anything but. England had the better share of possession, had a goal controversially ruled out for offside, and missed a penalty late in the game.
15 The 2011 WWC Failure
Back at the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the stage was set for the United States to capture the title as they went to a penalty shootout with Japan in the final. Unfortunately, three straight misses from Boxx, Lloyd and Heath ensured that they actually left Germany with the silver medal.
14 American Referees Need Some Work
This isn’t just true for the women’s game, but also for the men’s. In many countries around the world, there is an organized system put in place that allows for the development of strong, stable and capable refereeing. In the States, however, most pro refs all come across as being incredibly inexperienced.
13 Club Football Isn’t Really A Priority
The average attendance for the last National Women’s Soccer League was 7,176. When you compare that to the average of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which was 21,756, it’s clear to see that there is an issue with getting more people invested in club football. At some point, the methods of getting people on board need to change.
12 Alex Morgan Was Disrespectful
Alex Morgan scored and put her hand to her mouth in a ‘drinking tea’ kind of symbol when the US beat England. While that, in itself, can be put down to just being a little bit of fun, her denial and spite in the aftermath of the situation confirmed what we kind of already knew: she was being disrespectful.
11 Gender Pay Dispute Will Continue To Drag
Everyone wants a resolution to this issue sooner rather than later, but unfortunately, we hate to tell you that it just isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Some will suggest it has already been put to rest, but some people just aren’t going to quit until they get what they want – and rightfully so.
10 It’s An Egotistical Squad
Take one look at the win over Thailand in their World Cup opener this year and it’ll tell you all that you need to know regarding how this squad behaves. The arrogance and the pompous nature in which they tend to go about their business just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – pun not intended.
9 They Aren’t Being Challenged In Friendlies
Friendly matches are considered to be just that: ‘friendly’. In reality, though, they should serve as a golden opportunity for your team to measure themselves up against the quality of your opponents. In their last four outings, against lethargic opponents, they’ve won 3-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 2-0. Thrilling stuff, really.
8 There’s No Unity Between Them And USMNT
They can put out posters of both teams being photoshopped together all they like, but at the end of the day there is no cohesion between the men’s team and the women’s team and there hasn’t been for quite some time. There should be, but they just can’t get over that hump.
7 They Slipped Up In SheBelieves Cup
The 2017 SheBelieves Cup, which was actually held in the United States, was supposed to mark the continued growth and success of the USWNT. Instead, they finished dead last behind France, Germany and England, which was a tad embarrassing for the Stars and Stripes faithful given how confident they were.
6 Megan Rapinoe’s Speech Received Criticism
In the immediate aftermath of their World Cup success in France earlier this year, Megan Rapinoe gave a speech at the team’s victory parade. While there were a few important issues raised within it, she didn’t do herself many favors in terms of the delivery. If you’re going to try and get a point across, don’t use ignorance to do it.
5 There’s No One Clear Captain
It’s well known at this stage that there are three ‘co-captains’ of the USWNT in the form of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd. While some may praise that, we’re of the belief that one full captain and one vice-captain is the way to conduct your business. There needs to be some order, after all.
4 The Future Is Uncertain
Jill Ellis has left the building as head coach of the United States, and with that comes a great deal of uncertainty. Some have suggested Phil Neville will take over and others have thrown out a few other odd suggestions, but either way, it could be a difficult period for the squad.
3 Strength Of Schedule Isn’t As Strong
When you run the gauntlet through a men’s World Cup, the expectation is that you’re going to face tough challenges in all seven of your games (or perhaps six at a stretch). In the Women’s World Cup, though, it’s obvious to say that there are a few teams that are quite literally just making up the numbers.
2 They Still Aren’t 100% Respected
It’s bizarre to think that winning four World Cups isn’t enough for this organization to be respected, but here we are. There are many different reasons for that, but when it comes down to it, this fact is just a little bit sad. Do they deserve universal respect? Absolutely they do.
1 Hope Solo Situation Hurt Them
In addition to her own issues with the law, former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo had to deal with being suspended and terminated from her contract with the team back in 2016. The dispute, in many ways, seems to be ongoing to this day, and it was a huge media storm that the squad had to deal with.